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Fraudster messages officials, demands gift cards in Mumbai police commissioner's name


MUMBAI: Several persons in the city including junior police officials recently received a fraudulent message seeking digital gift cards "urgently" in the name of the Mumbai police commissioner, an official said on Friday.

The unidentified person or persons sending WhatsApp messages used police commissioner Vivek Phansalkar's photo as the display picture (DP), he said.

The message asked the recipients to send 20 digital gift cards of e-commerce firm Amazon worth Rs 10,000 in total, the official said.

The city police has warned its officials not to fall for the fraud, he added.

"There is something I need you to please do for me urgently as I am currently attending a very crucial meeting with limited phone calls. There are some listed prospect I am presenting them to today. I can't get it done myself due to meetings and i don't have any of my cards with me. How quickly can you arrange these gift cards because I need to send them out in less than an hour. I would provide you with the type of gift cards and the amount of each. I will reimburse you before the end of the day," the message read.

The police later registered an FIR (first information report) against an unidentified person in connection with the fraudulent gift card message.

The FIR under relevant sections of the IPC and the IT Act has been registered at the Lokmanya Tilak Marg Police Station in South Mumbai, the official said.

The police have initiated an investigation in the case along with the cyber cell, he said, adding they were in the process of obtaining details of the mobile number used to send the WhatsApp message.

Earlier, similar messages had been sent in the name of an Additional Director General of Police (ADG) and a Superintendent of Police (SP), the official said.

Gift cards allow its recipients to make purchases worth a particular amount from the vendor or firm which has issued them.